Amy Rubin

Amy Rubin, pianist and composer, has written and performed music in all genres - for the concert stage, jazz ensemble, film, television and theater, both in the U.S. and abroad. Her fearless eclecticism and desire to embrace all music regardless of style have brought her recent awards including the Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship, the King County Special Projects Award, the 2005 Jack Straw Artist Support Award and commission funds from the Seattle Arts Commission.

Rubin is known for her “clarity, conscience, ability to inhabit a wide-open aesthetic terrain, to deftly mingle jazz, blues, Latin rhythms, West African drumming, and European-American concert traditions. ” (Carol Oja, musicologist) She is “ a composer of many guises, many stylistic venues...she lets all those traditions filter through her personality and the result is manifold and varied but with a distinct Rubin feel to it.

Her music is delicate, dancing, fairytale - like, touching your intellectual and emotional strings...atmospheric with an impressionistic luster with beautiful displays of overtones, in a prismic splendor; it is like glass at times, clear, transparent, cool...rendering a personal sophistication inside an encoded environment.” (Sonoloco record reviews).

In summer 1999, “Hallelujah Games,” an all-Rubin CD was released on the Mode label. The review in ClassicsToday stated that it is “spiked with blues, jazz, African drumming patterns, and Latin dance rhythms and is appealing and often playful.. Her intricate passagework spins out like a nimble improvisation. “ Recently she released a CD of original compositions and arrangements for two pianos with Dawn Clement called the “Rubin-Clement Dialogues” which includes their improvisations as well as fully notated music. The “NewMusicBox” picked this CD as one of their top choices of the month: “Composer/pianists Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement combine forces to extend the pianos already complex sonic capabilities. These two infuse the music with a certain shimmering energy through both their playing and composing.”

As a senior Fulbright Scholar in 1992-93, she lived in Ghana, West Africa, where she was a Professor at the National Academy of Music and the National Institute for Film and Television. She has also served as a Master Teacher at the Lincoln Center Institute, the Oregon Institute for Arts and Education, The Memphis Institute for Arts and Education, and has been an educational consultant to the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and New Jersey Symphony.

As producer, Rubin produced a fourteen event festival at Fairleigh Dickinson called “Close Encounters With Music Around The World”, as well as a five year long concert series featuring major artists in the NY area. While in Ghana she produced and directed the First National Conference on African Music: “Traditions and Innovations”. As a Visiting Professor at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle she conducted pre-concert talks with visiting performers and co-produced a festival of Music of West Africa.

In January 2005 the Music Research Institute Press published “Towards an African Pianism 1: Keyboard Music of Africa and the Diaspora”. This important volume will include recordings and scores of both “Hallelujah Games” and “American Progressions”. Rubin is one of the few women, and Americans to be included.

Rubin now lives in Seattle where she composes, performs, teaches, lectures and collaborates. In her last few years she has enjoyed creating music with the Seattle Chamber Players, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Seattle Symphony, and the Jack Straw Foundation. She is currently working on a number of new projects including  “Piano Portraits”, a series of radio pieces funded by the Jack Straw Foundation. She is also working on a film about her field research in Ghana, “Chasing the African Tale”, and a large musical/ visual landscape comprised of new compositions for solo and multiple keyboards presented in combination with her current work in photography.